Now, he says, there may be only one or two “renegade” posters left.
“Finally, after pestering the county for about a year and a half, they got really aggressive,” he said. “It was just an eyesore.”
The building department also has conducted sting operations to catch computer and washing machine repairmen, though they have been less successful. Operators caught in those cases are appealing their citations.
Political campaign signs, which must be removed 30 days after an election, do not typically become the department’s problem, Danger said. The county, which initially kept its robocall effort under wraps so as not to tip off the people behind the signs, has now gotten calls from cities, including Miami and Miami Lakes, eager to learn about the robocalls and stings to tackle illegal signs along their streets. County Mayor Carlos Gimenez outlined the program and its costs to commissioners in a memo last month, a move prompted in part by a new rash of complaints about illegal signs.
“[T]ickets issued are, in most cases, uncollectable,” Gimenez warned.
The money the department does have is limited, Roig said, which means that if administrators or commissioners want to address graffiti, for example, funds may have to be diverted from the signs operation. “The [political] winds don’t always flow in the same direction,” he said.
In the end, the point is not to make money, said Danger, the building chief.
“We pardon a lot of tickets, because we want compliance more than anything,” he said. “We’re trying to send a message: ‘Guys, come on. Don’t do this. We are fed up. Please cooperate with us. We can spend money on better things.’ ”